Sunday, March 3, 2013

Best Lineup - Cincinnati Reds Part 2

A couple of Reds fans brought up a pretty interesting idea. Instead of using the 2013 Bill James projections and the 2013 most likely lineup, they asked me to run simulations using the actual 2012 stats as input and to use the 2012 roster to come up with the best 2012 lineup and compare it against the lineup that manager Dusty Baker used the most. Let's see how many wins per 162 games the Reds could've saved themselves had they used the most efficient lineup. In this Part 2 exercise I am only going to look at the Reds vs RHP.

Most Common 2012 Lineup
1. Zack Cozart
2. Drew Stubbs
3. Joey Votto (L)
4. Brandon Phillips
5. Jay Bruce (L)
6. Ryan Ludwick
7. Todd Frazier
8. Ryan Hanigan
9. Pitchers Spot

Simulator Most Efficient 2012 Lineup
1. Ryan Hanigan
2. Joey Votto (L)
3. Brandon Phillips
4. Jay Bruce (L)
5. Ryan Ludwick
6. Todd Frazier
7. Drew Stubbs
8. Pitchers Spot
9. Zack Cozart
Wins/162 Better Than Most Common 2012 Lineup: 1.48

A quick look back at the Part One post, where the 2013 Bill James Projections had Zack Cozart hitting 5th - let's see how that lineup would look using the 2012 actual stats instead of those from Bill James. Keep in mind the Reds now have Shin-Soo Choo, so I just replaced him with Drew Stubbs, so it is not exactly a one to one comparison.

Bill James 2013 Most Efficient Lineup
1. Drew Stubbs << was Choo
2. Joey Votto
3. Brandon Phillips
4. Jay Bruce
5. Zack Cozart
6. Todd Frazier
7. Ryan Ludwick
8. Pitchers Spot
9. Ryan Hanigan
Notes: This lineup is 2.35 wins/162 games worse than the most efficient lineup using 2012 stats.

So there is a big difference in picking the most efficient lineup based on what stats you use as input, the 2012 actual stats or the 2013 Bill James Projections. The projections will have some regression built in to them, where a poor 2012 season will be regressed up and a great 2012 season will be regressed back down. Another thing to try would be to use a different set of 2013 player projections and see if they differ significantly from what the Bill James projections came up with.

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